Arrival in Beijing – Trans Siberian Rail
Arrival in Beijing, China! After thousands of kilometers on the train, crossing many borders since London, I made it to the first big stop on my Trans Europe and Asia journey.
The first look at China in the daylight
After a lousy night of sleep, since one cannot control the level of snoring of a fellow passenger, I woke up when the first sunlight hit the train. When the sun set yesterday, the view was desert-like. Now the train was meandering between hillsides and mountains, with rivers and lakes below. The fisherman in their traditional fishing boats made it feel like China.
Valleys & tunnels
The last few hundred kilometers to Beijing bring the train through these beautiful valleys. That includes a never-ending amount of tubes. Some last a second while a few last about a minute to get through. They keep on coming. Surprisingly, the tunnels last till the last part of the journey to Beijing.
Oops, a signal?
In my effort to create a video reporting for this trip, I had the cameraman waiting for me in Beijing. That morning we communicated to meet up in front of the Beijing railway station and take some footage there. It took till 10 am before we managed to both find a signal that allowed our WhatsApp’s to go through. But by the time we were about to make sure I would come out of the station where he would have a good shot of me, the line dropped. And my signal would stay offline till far after the point where I’d reach Beijing. The telecoms weren’t helping the filming.
Oops, a ticket?
A bit stressed I walked out of the station, all ready to see if I could spot the camera and have some footage. That was without taking into account one bit of new information: you need your ticket to exit the station. Here’s that guy with a heavy backpack on the back, a camera-backpack on the front, and a small bag in my hand, trying to remember where I put my paperwork. Took me a while, but got it at last.
And, I spotted my camera buddy as soon as I was way past the point where we could make that unique shot of me exiting. A bit of improvisation, some good acting work, and a resourceful cameraman were all it took to make us deserve a coffee across the street.
Oh, did I tell you this all happened in the pouring rain?
Arrival in Beijing
This arrival in Beijing marked the last stop of the Trans Siberian train. And the last part of a pretty exhausting mission I was doing in collaboration with a European technology company. More about that, soon here on the blog.
The Trans Siberian and Trans Mongolian part of the trip started in Moscow. I had the chance of making stops along the way in Yekaterinburg, in Irkutsk, and Mongolia, before reaching China.
Part 1 of a more extended project
The whole trajectory I’m documenting, in the long run, will include the train trip from London to Ho Chi Ming City, and maybe even further to Singapore. So Far I’ve done most of the London-Beijing part. There’s a part, between Vilnius and Saint Petersburg or Moscow, that I will do later. Later, that is when I get a visa for Belarus. Since I’m pretty sure I will spend some time in 2017 in Lithuania, that being an ideal digital nomad location in Europe, I’ ‘m sure that’ll happen then.
The part between China and HCMC will be partly something for later this year (Hanoi-Ho Chi Min City) and 2017 (Beijing-Hanoi, and the stops in Seoul and Tokyo).
Koen Blanquart is a strategy consultant, journalist, and author.
Wanderlust is one of his driving factors, and he shares his travels here on Boarding Today. Koen is also the skipper of SV Bagabonda, a sailing vessel making a slow circumvention of the globe..
Koen recently published a book on how to manage a remote team: The Suitcase Office.